The Atlanta Shootings: A Confluence for a Perfect Storm

In addition to the obvious targeting of Asian-Americans in the tragic shootings in Atlanta, there were two other factors that created a perfect storm for this sort of tragedy to take place.

The first was the easy and immediate access for the purchase of a high-capacity weapon by the 21 year-old perpetrator of the shootings, who was able to buy the gun on Tuesday morning and kill six people that afternoon.

The idea of a waiting period — also known as a cooling-off period — between the purchase of a gun and the delivery into the hands of the buyer has been shown to be an effective measure in saving lives. According to a recent study, states with mandatory waiting periods — regardless of their length — had an average of 17 percent fewer murders and 10 percent fewer suicides by guns.

The second factor was the influence of the young man’s church upon his mind from an early age. This is by no means an excuse for his murderous spree, but it is to say that he clearly had been brainwashed by the extreme and confusing messages from his evangelical church about sex that led him to believe that he had an unnatural sex addiction that he could quell only by taking extreme measures.

When there are tragedies such as the shootings in Atlanta, we all want easy answers. But in reality, the truth of what drives persons to commit such heinous acts are not always easily understood, even by the perpetrators themselves.

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